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Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate Pack More Antioxidant Punch Than “Super Fruits”

February 7, 2011: 08:53 AM EST

A U.S. study that compared the antioxidant content of cocoa powder and cocoa products to various “Super Fruit”-derived powders and juices has found that cocoa powder and dark chocolate are not only a rich source of antioxidants, they contain more polyphenols and flavanols than fruit juices from blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates. The researchers, all of whom work for the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition, found that gram per gram there was more antioxidant capacity and a greater total flavanol content in the cocoa powder than in fruit juices. Only hot chocolate mix lacked antioxidants, because of the alkalization process. The researchers said that cacao seeds even provide nutritive value beyond their macronutrient composition “and appear to meet the popular media’s definition of a ‘Super Fruit’.”

Stephen J Crozier, et al., "Cacao seeds are a "Super Fruit": A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products", Chemistry Central Journal, February 07, 2011, © Chemistry Central Ltd
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